Hong Kong Disneyland, Seeking Return to Profit, Plans $1.4 Billion Upgrade
LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Company’s smallest theme park resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, which lost money amid declining attendance last year, will get $1.4 billion in enhancements as part of a colossal six-year growth plan.
洛杉矶——华特迪士尼公司(Walt Disney Company)最小的主题公园香港迪士尼乐园(Hong Kong Disneyland)去年因游客人数减少而亏损。作为一个庞大的六年发展计划的一部分，它将得到14亿美元的改善资金。
The upgrades, announced on Tuesday afternoon in Hong Kong, will include an entire section themed around the animated movie “Frozen,” a first for any Disney park. Plans also call for a hugely amped-up castle, multiple rides based on Marvel superheroes, a new nighttime show with fireworks and fountains, and a performance venue based on “Moana,” an animated musical that arrives in American theaters on Wednesday.
Construction will begin in 2018 and conclude in 2023, with new offerings coming online almost every year during that period. The plans are subject to final approval by the Hong Kong Legislative Council and the Disney board.
The expansion highlights Disney’s belief in Hong Kong Disneyland as a potential profit machine — not just as a theme park but as a creator of demand in China and Southeast Asia for the company’s movies, toys, clothes, video games, books, cruise vacations and TV programs.
“We are more excited than ever about the future of Hong Kong Disneyland,” Bob Chapek, Disney’s theme park chairman, said in a news release.
But the scope of the enhancements also reflects the difficult spot in which Hong Kong Disneyland finds itself. Despite more than $600 million in added attractions in recent years, including three new themed areas and a nighttime parade, the park lost about $20 million last year, according to financial filings.
Attendance has recently perked up — a consequence, perhaps, of media attention surrounding the opening of Shanghai Disney Resort in June — but the 11-year-old park had a terrible 2015. Attendance dropped 9.3 percent, to 6.8 million, compared with a year earlier, according to the Themed Entertainment Association. Occupancy at Disney’s two Hong Kong hotels declined to 80 percent from 93 percent.
参观人数最近有所回升——这可能是因为媒体对今年6月开业的上海迪士尼度假区的关注——但是这家有11年历史的公园2015年的表现非常糟糕。据世界主题公园协会(Themed Entertainment Association)称，它的参观人次比之前一年下降了9.3%，跌至680万人次。香港的两家迪士尼酒店的入住率从93%跌至80%。
Hong Kong Disneyland’s general manager, Andrew Kam, was forced out in March.
Like its entrenched local rival, Ocean Park, whose attendance dropped about 5 percent last year to 7.4 million.
But Hong Kong Disneyland has also been vexed by its relatively small size. In particular, the park’s 77-foot-tall castle (a replica of the original at Disneyland in California) has been a sore point among locals. Not helping: Shanghai made a to-do about its 197-foot castle being the largest in the Disney empire.
The renewed focus on Hong Kong Disneyland, with its lush gardens and collection of classic Disney rides, comes just six months after the opening of the Shanghai resort, which generated global headlines for its opulence. Disney has suggested that the Shanghai park will attract 10 million visitors in its first year; four million people visited in the peak summer months alone.
Hong Kong leaders, already feeling insecure about the ascension of Shanghai as a financial capital, do not want their Disneyland to be viewed as a lesser property.
“There seems to be an interesting growth in pride locally in Hong Kong in that park,” Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, told analysts on a Nov. 10 conference call. “I guess their competitive spirits have somehow or another been stimulated.”
“有趣的是，香港本地人对这个公园的自豪感似乎在增强，”迪士尼的首席执行官罗伯特·A·艾格(Robert A. Iger)11月10日在会议电话中对分析人士说，“我觉得他们的竞争精神不知怎么被激发了出来。”
The Hong Kong government owns 53 percent of the park, with Disney controlling the balance. Funding for the $1.4 billion expansion will be split in corresponding proportion.
The rides and shows announced on Tuesday come on top of additions already in the works. Hong Kong Disneyland will unveil an “Iron Man”-themed flight simulator on Jan. 11, and a new 750-room hotel will open its doors in the months thereafter.
Starting in 2018, a new Marvel-themed ride (taking the spot of a Buzz Lightyear attraction) and the “Moana” complex will arrive. The supersize castle will open the next year. The snow-dusted Arendelle from “Frozen” — replete with a lake, an ice mountain, two rides, shops and restaurants — is the 2020 offering. More Marvel attractions are planned in the years after that, with one based on “The Avengers.”
从2018年开始，一个以漫威为主题的新游乐项目（取代一个巴斯光年[Buzz Lightyear]景点）和《海洋奇缘》综合建筑将纳入使用。超大型城堡将在之后一年开幕。《冰雪奇缘》中白雪皑皑的阿伦黛尔王国(Arendelle)——完整地包括一个湖、一座冰山、两个游乐项目、商店和餐厅——将于2020年推出。更多的漫威景点将在之后推出，其中一个以《复仇者联盟》(The Avengers)为主题。